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    Isle of Portland Circular Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    13.2 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    340 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Isle of Portland Circular Walk

    Walking the Isle of Portland Circular Trail is a fun adventure along the Dorset Coast that will lead you around a land-tied island for some stunning views of the English Channel. While out walking the trail, you will make your way along the coast to reach the southernmost point of the island at Portland Bill, before looping around to make your way past several historic buildings. This is a fantastic walking route that features largely easy-going terrain with a few mildly challenging sections for good measure.

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    Route Description for Isle of Portland Circular Walk

    The Isle of Portland Circular Walk is a fairly laidback adventure overall; however, the route does traverse some coastal terrain that will see you ascend/descend the hillside. Be sure to wear proper walking boots, as they will help you to better traverse the rugged portions of the trail and keep your feet comfortable on this intermediate length journey. This walk is also suitable for families, just make sure to keep an eye on young children in the coastal portions of the walk.

    If you are looking to take in near-constant seaside views while also visiting some interesting historical sites, then the Isle of Portland Circular Walk will be a great fit for your next adventure in Dorset. In addition to sweeping views of the English Channel that extend out in every direction, you will also pass by several coastal fortifications that date to various periods of the island’s habitation, including the 19th Century Verne Citadel, 20th Century Blacknor Fort, and Century Rufus Castle that has its origins in the 12th Century. There is plenty to do and see on this lengthy walk, making it a great option for a fun weekend stroll.

    Setting out from the car park, you will make your way to the southwest past the Portland Cenotaph and Olympic Rings Stone Sculpture, before crossing over the road and through the Tout Quarry Reserve and Sculpture Park. Here, you will meet up with the edge of the coast and continue to the southeast to pass by Blacknor Fort, which was built in 1900-1902 in order to defend Portland Harbour.

    Keeping on along the coastal trail, you will eventually round the southernmost tip of the Isle of Portland at the Portland Bill Lighthouse, where you will enjoy some amazing views over the English Channel. Here, the route will turn to the northeast and see you traverse the undulating coastal path towards Rufus Castle. Although this historic structure has its origins in the 12th Century, the current castle dates to the 15th Century.

    Continue following the trail to the northeast while enjoying the beautiful views across the water, eventually following the path as it turns slightly inland towards the Verne Citadel, a 19th Century fortification also constructed to defend Portland Harbour, but was later converted to a prison in 1949. From here, you will make your way west for a short distance to return to the car park where you began the Isle of Portland Circular Walk.

    Getting to the Isle of Portland Circular Walk Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Isle of Portland Circular Walk can be found at the New Ground Car Park near the King Barrow Quarries Reserve.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


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